Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

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Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets: How long to cook? What temperature? What dipping sauces are best? We answer all your questions here!

A close up of cooked air fryer chicken nuggets

Cooking Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Cooking frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer is THE way to go. You get perfectly crispy, cooked chicken nuggets in a matter of minutes. No preheating, no uneven cooking, and no need to flip. The outside coating actually gets crispy and the inside is always perfectly tender. You will never go back to making them in the oven (or the microwave) again! 

What You’ll Need

  • An Air Fryer (or convection oven)
  • Store-bought frozen chicken nuggets 

How Long to Cook Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Time can vary depending on the size of the chicken nuggets and whether or not they are pre-cooked and then frozen. For your typical, fully-cooked frozen chicken nuggets, we usually do 9-10 minutes. This includes the Tyson chicken nuggets, Banquet frozen nuggets, Dino nuggets, and “Just Bare” lightly breaded chicken breast chunks. If the chicken nuggets don’t come in the package already pre-cooked, add another 6-7 minutes to the time. For veggie nuggets, reduce time to 7-8 minutes. 

An air fryer showing the temperature at 375-degrees F

What Temperature is Best?

We like to cook our frozen chicken nuggets at 375-degrees F in the air fryer. Most other recipes say to cook them at 400 degrees F but I have found that the chicken nuggets get a little too dry at that high of a temperature. At 375 the chicken nuggets are still perfectly cooked through and also have a nice, crispy coating. 

A bag of Just Bare Frozen Chicken nuggets

Our Favorite Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Our very favorite chicken nuggets, hands down, is the Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks. I’m not joking, they taste just as good (if not better) than Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, especially when you cook them in the air fryer! They can be a little pricey but if you think of how much you are paying for chicken nuggets at a restaurant, you will actually 

Cooked chicken nuggets on a plate with three dipping sauces

What Sauce to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

You can never go wrong with a simple BBQ sauce or honey mustard sauce (or ketchup if you are my kids) when it comes to dipping your chicken nuggets. Here are some more of our favorite dipping sauces:

What if I Don’t Have an Air Fryer?

Most frozen chicken nugget packages will have instructions for oven cooking. It is always best to go by the package instructions, but if you got rid of the box or are just looking for general cooking times you can start by cooking at 400-degrees for 13-15 minutes. 

Cooked chicken nuggets in an air fryer basket

Tips:

  • Don’t thaw the chicken nuggets first. Remove from the freezer and place directly into the air fryer
  • It is better to air fry in batches than to stack your chicken nuggets when cooking a large amount. Stacking will cause uneven cooking and will take longer. It is easiest to cook in batches in a single layer. 
  • You can increase the temperature by 25 degrees for extra crispy nuggets but know that you will run the risk of drying out the chicken on the inside. 
  • You can use cooking spray but it isn’t necessary. The nuggets shouldn’t stick to the air fryer basket because of their coating. 

More Easy Air Fryer Recipes

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

A close up of cooked air fryer chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets: How long to cook? What temperature? What dipping sauces are best? We answer all your questions here!
Prep Time 0 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Air Fryer
Servings 4

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 16 frozen chicken nuggets
  • cooking spray (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dipping sauce (see suggestions above)

Instructions

  • Place frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. You may need to cook in batches if you are making a large amount. 
    Frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer basket
  • Cook at 375-degrees F for 9-10 minutes. 
    An air fryer showing the temperature at 375-degrees F
  • Remove from air fryer and check internal temperature. It should be 165-degrees F. 
    Cooked chicken nuggets in an air fryer basket
  • Serve with your favorite chicken nugget dipping sauce (see above for suggestions)
    Cooked chicken nuggets on a plate with three dipping sauces

Nutrition Information

Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 43gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 600mgPotassium: 823mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

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Place frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer basket or on the air fryer tray. You may need to cook in batches if you are making a large amount. 

Cook at 375-degrees F for 9-10 minutes. 

Remove from air fryer and check internal temperature. It should be 165-degrees F. 

Serve with your favorite chicken nugget dipping sauce (see above for suggestions)

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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